Star Alliance is not in trouble but its members are, some more, some less. It seems quite plausible that the composition of the group may change in 2002/2003. Thai is a very likeable candidate for exit one way or the other (if Thai government can bring themselves to sell a majority share in the company to a non-Thai company, or by simply going belly-up). Thai leaving the Alliance is a thought I don't like very much, as I appreciate flying Thai very much.
The rumours about a quarrel between LH and UA are definitely true, and understandably so from both sides.
LH is somewhat worried about US government subsidies, that enable US carriers to offer trans-atlantic airfares that are just ridiculous (before anybody starts hollering "hey, it's Andreas again, that LH freak": Just ask yourself: Is this the right way to bring the company back to profitability? I don't think so! There are many examples to prove that empirically, in the US as well as in Europe). On the other hand, UA is currently fighting for sheer survival.
I don't really think this a Star Alliance problem but rather another unpleasant outcome of the current aviation crisis. If this goes on, all carriers worldwide will be in trouble, some earlier, some later.
As for the future of Star Alliance: Don't worry, it will live on. Don't forget, that several companies that are members of the group, like LH and SQ, are already intensifying their cooperation, the same in Europe (LH-SAS). New members are hard to find that meet quality and financial criteria as well. Emirates? Nice idea, good company, but I'm not so sure about feasibility.SQ and EK together with Thai still there, I don't really see the point to have another Alliance hub in Dubai with aircraft ranges getting longer and longer. Now if Emirates is strong not only in the Middle East but also in Africa (I'm not sure about this!), well... but I don't think so!
I know it's only VfB but I like it!